U-bolts can be an important piece of hardware to keep a trailer bed securely fastened to its frame. But they only work if they are torqued -- or tightened - to the proper tension.
U-bolts come in different sizes; the size of the U-bolt determines how much torque it can withstand. Measure the thickness of the rod. Common diameters are 3/8-inch, 7/16-inch, 1/2-inch and 9/16-inch.
A special wrench is used to measure the torque of a nut and bolt. A torque wrench will have a mechanical needle attached to its handle that moves as more tension is applied to a nut and bolt. The needle will point to a reading measured in foot-pounds.
Consult a chart to determine the suggested torque values for various sizes of U-bolts. According to Stengel Brothers, a distributor of U-bolts, torque values for common sizes of U-bolts include: 3/8-inch -- 30 foot-pounds; 7/16-inch -- 45 foot-pounds; 1/2-inch -- 65 foot-pounds; and 9/16-inch -- 90 foot-pounds.
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